Saturday, March 30, 2013

Farm Shop Dress

Here is the latest dress I made for the farm shop. I am happy to say it sold within 5 minutes of arriving at the farm! The fabric is some cute vintage stuff that I loved, but wasn't sure if others would feel the same way. The lining and flower are from one of Dad's dress shirts. I guess I will be making more dresses for next week!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I made these two dresses for my work-share at the farm. I had seen a cute dress online with a heart cut-out in the back. I could have bought the pattern but didn't feel like paying 10 bucks for something I knew I could easily do. Now that I have it figured out, I plan on making my daughter's Easter dress with a heart in the back. I kind of felt bad making her try it on for pictures then giving it away!

And yes! You better believe I put some rick rack on it! :) I used jumbo rick rack to make scallops around the waist.

This one is from Made By Rae's Itty Bitty Dress pattern. It is fun and easy to sew up, and stinkin' cute! It is teeny-tiny as you can see from the next picture. It is sized for a newborn. 

And the good news is both dresses have already sold!! That was fast! I guess I know what I'll be making this week. The clothespin bags also went fast. I think they only have one left.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Knit Purse!

I have always considered myself knitting-challenged. My grandma tried to teach me to knit a scarf and it took me over a year. I also couldn't figure out the whole casting on and off business, which is slightly problematic. And yet....those beautiful yarns and patterns are so tempting. I finally decided after some encouragement to try it again. I figured out how to cast on all by myself. Woo! I decided to make a purse for my daughter since it seemed simple enough. I am pretty sure I broke all knitting protocol but it works. I hand-sewed the purse together and the handle is a strip I knitted and sewed into a roll. I wanted magnetic snaps so I installed them on two wool felt hearts and blanket stitched them in. My next project is a hat, but I probably ought to do a little research before I start...since I only know one stitch, and I couldn't even tell you the name of it!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Yoga Mat Bag

I had some leftover Amy Butler fabric from a previous project and wanted to actually finish something in one sitting. After yoga yesterday, I realized that the project should be a new mat bag.
 I used a pattern from Joel Dewberry's book "Sewn Spaces". The book is filled with visually appealing projects BUT the patterns are horrible. There are missing instructions and pattern pieces and some of the measurements are off. F R U S T R A T I N G. I thought I was going crazy so I even Googled it and fortunately, it's not just me. Apparently, the patterns provided in the book just stink. The editor should've sprung a few extra bucks to get some pattern testers before publishing the book.
 Regardless of the cryptic instructions, I finished the bag in an hour or so. It'll do in a pinch but it makes me want to make a much sturdier, lined and interfaced bag in the future. When you learn to sew making Amy Butler bags, patterns like this are just disappointing.
This is a random shot of my sewing buddy. I can stitch all day and he will stay with me looking up occassionally to make sure I'm ok before going back to sleep. Dogs are awesome.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Colette Patterns - 1022 Iris Shorts

This pattern is a good reminder as to why I started making muslins for all new clothing patterns that I try. I really like the details and vintage/modern style of Colette patterns and I went crazy on Black Friday and bought 5 of their patterns. Iris is the first one that I've started working on and while it sewed up beautifully (I didn't bother with the waistband) as soon as I did a tentative fitting I knew that short of redrafting the entire pattern, it wasn't going to flatter my body Since I spent about $2 on muslin and learned more about garment construction in the process, I'd say that overall it turned out to be a great project. As tedious as it may sound and sometimes is, I highly recommend working the quirks out on cheap muslin. It'll save you from a lot of frustration and pattern disappointment in the long run. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lonsdale Dress

I saw this pattern over a year ago and absolutely loved it. It's been sitting in my stash for a while and I finally had a chance to start working on it. I made a resolution this year to start making muslins of every clothing item I intend to sew for myself. I've been lazy and haven't been in the habit of doing that and as a result have been left with many disappointing projects that didn't fit and piles of ruined fabric.

I'm so glad I decided to make this pattern the right way! Fortunately, with a few tweaks it essentially fits me right off the pattern. I'll shorten the hem significantly, fully line the skirt and add an invisible zipper instead of a lapped one, but those are pretty much the only changes that I need to make.

I'm so impressed with the design of this pattern. It's simple to sew, the instructions are clear and concise and you can tell someone spent time on making the details perfect. I also used the muslin as an opportunity to try out my new invisible zipper foot (my new favorite tool) and testing out how I want to finish the seams.

I intend to use an Amy Butler orange dots fabric for the actual dress and will definitely be underlining the bodice for added structure. The dress sews up fast so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll have the real deal to share pictures of just in time for Spring!    

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mom's Bday Apron

I made Mom a new apron for her birthday. If you noticed, we are apron crazy in our family. I used the Amy Butler Domestic Goddess pattern again (I made it for MawMaw here) and used fabric from Amy Butler's "Love" collection.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

And Again...

I made another one! This one (and probably a few more coming) are being made as a barter type situation. My two youngest munchkins and I are going to be participating in a farm program at a Living History Farm. The deal is that one adult per child must volunteer, but since there is only one of me and two kids, I was able to work out a deal so I can make items for their gift shop in lieu of the extra volunteer time. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Clothespin Bag #2

My Unofficial Guide to Using Pinterest

These days, it seems like everyone has heard about Pinterest. It is a great place to find inspiration and visually organize your ideas. You can also use Pinterest to waste a whole lot of time. I like it because instead of browsing through annoying bookmarks, trying to figure out just what exactly each one is, I can see a picture of each idea in an organized way. In order to use Pinterest to my advantage, and not as a huge time drain, here are the rules I follow:

  • I only browse through categories that I know are going to be helpful to me. Yes, I could spend 3 hours looking at memes about cats, but where would I be? Nowhere. And really, I don't do much browsing. I take a quick peek at the latest pins from my peeps and call it good. 
  • When I see a pin I am interested in, I click through the link to the website. That way I will know if it is a bad link, or spam, or uses cream-of-mystery soup. Nothing like deciding to go make those salted caramel rice crispies only to find that the link was for automotive repair. 
  • If the link is legit (usually they are) then I ask myself 'Am I going to make this?' As in, is there a very good possibility that I would actually accomplish that idea. Making a wreath out of newspaper roses may look cool, but I am not going to invest 28.7 hours hand-rolling the flowers. I only pin what I feel to be realistic and worth doing. 
  • I do have a few boards that are 'Inspiration' but I try to keep them brief. I have one for Colors and one for Art. 
  • Pinning is all fine and dandy, but most people stop there. My goal with Pinterest is to actually accomplish the ideas I have found. Every month when I am making up my menu and shopping list, I look on Pinterest and find several ideas and recipes I want to try. That way I can add the necessary supplies to my list, or add a recipe to my menu. (Don't let all this fool you. I am not that organized. My spice drawer is most certainly NOT alphabetized.)
  • When I make a recipe, or use a tutorial or idea, I move the pin to my "Mission Accomplished" board. That way, I still have the pins in case I want them again, but they are not cluttering up my other boards. It also allows me to see if I am actually using the ideas I find. And guess what? I am only a few pins away from 200! A lot of them are recipes, closely followed by crafty stuff. And most of them have turned out well. 
  • My friend and I have a shared board. We pin things to that board that we have made so we can see what we've been up to. I have found several really great recipes thanks to my friend  via our shared board, and we leave each other comments about any changes we made to the recipe or what we thought of it. 
  • Occasionally I will peruse my boards and delete anything that no longer interests me for one reason or another. That way I don't end up with a zillion pins that I have to wade through to find one idea. 
And there you have it. Me blathering on and on about Pinterest. If you made it through, congratulations! Now go and make something!!

P.S. Here are my Pin Boards.  Here is the link to my Mission Accomplished board. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brush Roll

When I started my painting class, I made this brush roll to transport my brushes and pencils. The fabric makes me smile, and I added a little bit of color with rick rack...surprise, surprise.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dr. Seuss Hat

I made this hat for my son's Dr. Seuss party at school. I used my very limited math skills to determine the circumference of the hat, and I 'eyeballed' the rest. And it fit! I used white felt and sewed red felt stripes to that. The reason the hat stands up is because I did a welt seam up the back and it did the trick. 

Artwork + Frame

About a month ago, my 5 year old daughter painted a landscape picture that I just love. I wanted to frame it and hang it in our living room. When I found the frame at the thrift store, I was a little leery. It was big, hideous, and big. And hideous. The thing that I liked was that it was like a 'real artwork' frame. I took a $7.99 chance and took it home. I was able to pry out the linen inner frame before I spray painted it. When it was dry, I put it all back together and hung it up. I love it! 

P.S. What should I do with the original painting? Chuck it? Do something cool with it? It is oil on a thin wood board.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sewing Slump

I've been in one of those sewing slumps were nothing I make ends up being presentable. My last 3 projects haven't turned out as planned and while I learned from each one, I was getting frustrated that I had nothing to show for my work. This morning I was rambling around my closet and saw a bunch of dresses and tops that I've made over the last couple of years. I had forgotten how many successful projects I have hanging in my closet so I took some time to drag everything out, try it on and appreciate what did go well. If you ever get crabby that things aren't coming together as planned, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to find inspiration from projects that did work. It made me remember all the time, effort and creativity that went into each piece not to mention the seam ripping, problem solving and modification to make it perfect. It gave me the motivation to hit my stash and get crackin' again. Ironically enough, I started 3 projects today and all of them are turning out!